The White Dahlia + Some Horrible House History!

July 13, 2014

Yes I am kind of making a reference here to The Black Dahlia aka Elizabeth Short. Before she met her horrendous fate, she used to wear pristine white dahlia's in her raven black hair (if you have a weak stomach and you do not know who Elizabeth is, I recommend you not Google her!) Ironically, these hair flowers were not the ones to which she owned her nickname; she got it from the movie 'The Blue Dahlia' (1946) with Veronica Lake. The people in town who gave her the nickname changed the color blue to black because of Elizabeth's penchant for black laced clothing. She would have been called a gothic in this time, probably! She dressed quite unusual for that time - the 1940s.

The case of Elizabeth Short is having me in its grip for years and years now, and I have read many books about her and the case. Not much is known about her and the best book I read about it, is a book called 'Severed: the true story of the Black Dahlia murder.' It also goes into Elizabeth's character, who she was and what she liked, the efforts she put into trying to becoming yet another Hollywood movie queen; sadly she never got that far.

A part of me desperately wants to know who her killer is but, just as is the case with Jack the Ripper ... a little mystery is always nice. But ofcourse Elizabeth deserves justice for once and for all!

Everytime I clip this white Dahlia in my blonde curls, I always think about 22-year old Elizabeth and her tragic fate. It is really, really gruesome. But again: do not Google her if you have a weak stomach; photos of the murder scene (which are very graphic for that time) are the first to pop up instead of her pretty porcelain-like face.

A walk after some horrible house history
Today was a day with such nice weather, and so I asked Ben for a walk. We could really use that, to be honest, but I'll get back to that later.

The original early 1940s novelty dress I am wearing has never really introduced properly to you, and that while I have this cute dress for a little more than a year now - somehow I just never got to it. Although the dress is pretty, I do have a hate and love affair with it. It's hard to clean because of the rayon, which shrinks when it gets in touch with water. I have to hand wash it, and even that with much care, but that is not such a big deal because I do that with all my original vintage dresses. However, it has a nasty smell that is véry hard to get rid of. I have done everything within my reach to try and remove that smell. Luckily it's not the stench of old sweat from someone long gone, but it has the smell of a wet sponge. If anyone has a tip how to remove that, I'd be more than grateful!

I am also wearing my hair a little different than usually: I am wearing a center part. Something I barely do but, looking at these photos, something I should consider doing more often. I had a very good hair day today (minus the hair outgrowth which bothers me soooo much, mind you).

Some horrible history of our house
Today Ben and I were playing a bit of Sherlock Holmes, as you do, and we came across an advertisement of a tailor shop in the 1930s - in the house we live in. We have always been desperate to know what our house was during the 1930s and 1940s. Our house obviously has some history attached to it ... 'cause hell ... it's from 1330! What we came to know shocked us. Like I said, the restaurant we live above was a tailor shop in the 1930s and 1940s, owned by Salomon Vomberg; a Jewish tailor. Are you getting ahead of me?

From that name on, we could further our investigation: he had 4 children (1 daughter and 3 sons) and a loving wife Johanna. When WWII arrived, Salomon and his family gave a false address but got arrested by the Germans in 1942 and were deported to Auschwitz (whilst typing this, the tears are running down my cheeks). No one survived: Salomon, his wife Johanna and their daughter Bertha were gassed in 1942 in Auschwitz. Their three sons (Nathan, Meier and Juda Louise) died in 1944 in mid-Europe - which most likely means that they died during a death march. The oldest kid was merely 17.

Lately we have been complaining a lot about our house, but knowing it has this tragic history attached to it surely shows our house in a different light and we approach it with much more respect now. These poor people have lived here and never got it back nor the tailor shop they have, I am sure, worked so hard for.

When we walk down the stairs now, we cannot help but think how this family got arrested and led down the stairs by the Germans to meet their utterly tragic demise and to never return ever again. The fear these poor people must have felt must have been immense.

Salomon and Johanna Vomberg

Johanna and her three sons.

Their four children

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  1. oh my goodness. such a heat wrenching and terribly fascinating post. i had to look up Black Dahlia and even though i have a strong stomach, was appalled at what i saw. but i do enjoy her beautiful pictures from before and your pretty hairstyle and dress. that hairstyle and part suits your face shape and features well.

    1. It is indeed a heart wrenching story of what has happened in our house. It still gives me a terribly sad feeling realizing what these poor people have been through. Something most of us can never imagine and hopefully no one will have to go through this again.

      Thank you so much for your kind compliments!

  2. The fate of Elisabeth Short is indeed horribly sad...! Among the many bizarre details in this case, the fact that no less than 60 persons afterwards claimed to be her murderer is downright grotesque.

    You look wonderful in that dress, and your emerging natural hair color also looks so sweet :-)

    Good advice about how to remove 'the smell of old age' from your dress can be found here:

    1. Yes it's unbelievable how many claimed to be the murderer. There's so many riddles and mystery in this case and, the body was so well cleaned aswell (even though she looked horrible) which left no trace of her murderer also. Whoever did this must have been doing it very precisely.

      As for my dress: it isn't exactly the smell of old age aswell. Or perhaps a combination; I remember when I just had the dress I walked in the rain with it. Then came the stench. So perhaps it's a combination.

      I shall have a look at the link, which I thank you for!

  3. What an amazing, interesting post!


  4. Heartbreaking. On a lighter note, your dress is lovely. Have you tried Oxy clean? I'm not certain if it is sold in Europe, but it is chlorine free and colour safe. I have used it on some pretty gross items from the 1940's (sweaty, cigarette stench!) and it worked! Try this link, you may be able to find something similar where you live. xx Erin

    1. Hi Erin, no I haven't tried Oxi clean to be honest. I know it was once sold in the Netherlands, but it wasn't a huge success. I am sure it is still sold or that there's something similir to it, so I am definitely gonna give it a try! Thank you dor your tip!


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